'This Is My Calling': Meet Swapnil Rajurkar, M.D.
March 29, 2018
| by Travis Marshall
Swapnil Rajurkar, M.D.
, says his decision to become a doctor grew out of a lifelong interest in helping and caring for the people around him.
“I feel like this is my calling, and that I’m privileged to have the opportunity to truly help people, as opposed to sitting behind a counter or in a cubicle,” he said. “Living and working in Rancho Cucamonga, I’m honored to care for my neighbors in this community every day.”
Rajurkar is a medical oncologist at City of Hope’s Rancho Cucamonga
, California, clinic, which offers Inland Empire residents cancer services that are close to home, while offering access to City of Hope’s deep well of research and expertise.
But Rajurkar actually got his start on the other side of the world, in Gujarat, India, where he was the son of two physicians. “I remember going to watch my father perform surgeries when I was a child,” he said. “Medicine is pretty much all I’ve ever known.”
A Passion for Patients
Though his innate desire to care for people led Rajurkar to medical school, it was the rapidly evolving science around cancer that caught his attention and steered him toward oncology.
Not only is cancer the second most common cause of death, but it’s also one of the most exciting fields of medicine right now,” Rajurkar explained. “We’re seeing constant improvements and new drugs being approved all the time.”
Rajurkar explained that one oncology professor in particular had an outsized impact on how he practices medicine to this day.
“He had a genuine passion for patients, and he was always looking at how to apply the latest research and new therapies to his patients,” Rajurkar said. “I try to live up to that example.”
Soon after completing medical school, Rajurkar immigrated to the U.S. where he completed an internal medicine residency at McLaren Regional Medical Center in Michigan, and a medical oncology fellowship at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
“I always wanted to settle in the U.S.,” he said. “What makes this country unique is that the people are generally fair, mindful and anyone can succeed if they work hard.”
Rajurkar said he enjoys working at City of Hope’s Rancho Cucamonga location because it offers him — and his patients — an ideal balance of community-based care and world-class expertise for a wide range of cancers and hematologic malignancies.
The Rancho Cucamonga clinic is home to a multidisciplinary team of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, researchers, nurse practitioners and others who can work with patients from diagnosis to treatment, including radiation and chemotherapy in an on-site infusion room. There are also gynecology and urology specialists offering treatments for both cancerous and noncancerous issues.
"Our clinic here is small enough that we can maintain a personal touch with our patients, and they don't have to drive too far to get the care they need," Rajurkar said. "At the same time, we're part of an institution that is on the cutting edge of cancer research and treatment, and we have access to essentially all the clinical trials available on the main campus."
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